The hard drive you use in your computer’s boot drive will play a huge role in the performance of the overall system.
If you want your programs to run fast and to limit the amount of time spent waiting for your applications to load, you’d need a good SSD for the boot drive.
You will notice a huge difference in performance when you replace a spinning platter HDD with an SSD and for even better results you should consider getting the best SSD for boot drive.
Here are things to consider before getting the SSD.
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List of Best SSD for Boot Drive in 2020
- WD Blue 3D NAND – Affordable 2.5” SATA SSD for Boot Drive
- Samsung SSD 860 Evo – Very Popular SATA SSD
- Crucial MX500 – Fast 560MB/s SATA SSD
- Samsung (MZ-V7E1T0BW) 970 EVO SSD – Very Fast 3.5GB/s NVME SSD for Boot Drive
- WD_Black SN750 – High-Performance M.2 SSD
1. WD Blue 3D NAND – Affordable 2.5” SATA SSD For Boot Drive
An affordable 2.5″ SATA SSD. Perfect for most PCs and can serve well as a boot drive.
The WD Blue is a very reliable SATA SSD that features as one of the best SSD for Boot drive due to its affordability.
At the time of writing, you can get the largest 4TB capacity unit for less than $500 and still get good performance out of it.
The drive itself is very fast, you can get 560 MB/s of read speeds and about 530 MB/s of write speeds and this will let you boot up your computer and programs installed in the drive very fast.
The drive is tested for longevity and can run for about 1.75 Million hours or endure the writing of 600TB worth of data before you get a risk of failure.
Because the drive utilizes a SATA interface, you can easily install it in the slot of an older HDD for booting if replacing.
It’s 2.5-inch size also means that the drive can fit inside most regular-sized laptops.
2. Samsung SSD 860 Evo – Very Popular SATA SSD
A highly popular SATA III SSD for PC with a 2.5 inch form factor.
The 2.5” Samsung SSD 860 Evo is a great unit for users who want to upgrade their boot disk to one that performs much faster but doesn’t cost too much.
It comes in a wide range of capacities to fit users with different needs, the lowest you can get is the 250GB version but you can have one up to 4TB depending on your use case.
While the cost is affordable, quality isn’t compromised. The performs remarkably well with read speeds of 550 MB/s and write speeds of 520 MB/s.
The long delays when booting or launching apps can be done away with when you switch to this drive as it is very compatible with modern systems that use the SATA III interface.
In addition to the good performance and the affordable price tag, you also get disk encryption which lets you securely store your files and prevent unauthorized access to your data.
3. Crucial MX500 – Fast 560MB/s SATA SSD
An SSD suitable for M.2 SATA slot. Great choice for those who have an extra M.2 slot in their desktop or laptop.
When you have a much slimmer laptop that a regular-sized SATA SSD cannot fit inside, you may need to opt for a small form-factor SSD like the Crucial MX500. This can also be used on any PC so long as the motherboard has the required slot.
Being an M.2 SATA SSD means this will not take too much space in your computer. Instead, you get more than enough space on the drive to use as your boot device. Capacities range from 250 GB and you can get one with up to 2TB of storage.
This one comes in the 2280SS form factor so you should ensure that you have the correct size slot on your motherboard before you purchase it.
Performance-wise, the MX500 can deliver read speeds of 560MB/s and write speeds of 510MB/s.
These can make for a very performant device and can be a huge upgrade for a boot drive that was previously HDD.
4. Samsung (MZ-V7E1T0BW) 970 EVO SSD – Very Fast 3.5 GB/s NVME SSD for Boot Drive
A high performance NVME SSD with an M.2 form factor. Reaches a whopping 3.5 GB/s speeds.
The Samsung 970 EVO SSD is one for the users who are very keen on performance. It is especially perfect for booting operating systems in record time and can support fast loading of other large applications and games.
This M.2 NVME SSD utilizes the high-speed PCIe bus for connection and can let you move files around with speeds of 3.5GB/s for reads and 2.5GB/s for writes.
The device’s speed itself sets it as the best SSD for boot drive as its many times faster than its competitors.
With all this performance, you can expect to pay a premium price and that is the case with this drive since the 1TB unit will cost you a little over $150.
Storage capacities for this unit range from about 250Gb up to 2TB meaning that users with the need for large capacities will also have their needs met.
In addition to being fast, the drive comes with protection against overheating therefore safeguarding itself from damage due to high temperatures during operation.
5. WD Black SN750 – High Performance M.2 SSD
A gaming grade high performance NVME SSD. Suitable as a boot drive for gaming setups.
The WD_Black SN750, just like the Samsung 970 EVO SSD is an M.2 NVME SSD. This means that you get remarkably high performance, even when compared to other SSDs like SATA ones.
It’s a small form factor device that lets you use it on very small devices like slim laptops and being an SSD means that you don’t get too much noise out of it.
It comes in a wide range of capacities from 250GB to 2TB and is ideal for speed enthusiasts, people who want their computers to burn through tasks quickly and efficiently.
Read and write speeds on this device can go up to 3470MB/s and 3000MB/s respectively so even when booting up you can expect to see very little waiting times before your computer is ready to use.
Other programs like games installed on it will also load much faster compared to having an HDD or even a SATA SSD.
Being a high-performance drive makes this one of the best SSD for boot drive. It can mean the difference between waiting for the computer to boot or having it happen in less than ten seconds.
What is a Boot Drive?
All computers need an Operating System (OS) to work. The OS itself stays in the computer’s hard drive from where it can be loaded into RAM when you switch on your computer.
The disk drive in which the OS is installed is what is known as the boot drive. Because it has the OS, a slow boot drive can result in bottlenecks for your computer which will, in turn, affect the performance.
To be on the safe side, you should consider an SSD over an HDD as the boot drive.
Can SSD Be Used a Boot Drive?
It mostly certainly can be there is not question about that.
However, in order to use the SSD as a boot drive, you need to select it first as so from the BIOS. Depending upon the version of your BIOS, the interface can be different.
But the principle remain the same. To install windows or an operating system on a PC and to boot from it, you need to set the SSD as your primary boot device from your BIOS.
What to Look For
SSDs have gotten so much cheaper over the last decade that having one is no longer a luxury. Nevertheless, when looking for an SSD, you should consider your needs in terms of both storage capacities and performance as these are the two major factors that will impact your satisfaction the most.
While storage capacities can be sorted out by getting additional drives when needed, performance can be a tricky course to navigate.
These kinds of SSDs are very fast and offer some of the best performance you will ever get from a mass storage device.
This is because they rely on a computer’s PCIe bus which offers a high bandwidth connection to the chipset, allowing faster transfer speeds.
The best thing about these devices is their performance since you can get an upwards of 3 GB/s with some top of the line NVMe SSDs.
However, great performance also comes with a somewhat larger price tag. The price per Gigabyte for an NVMe SSD is much higher than that of a SATA SSD.
Modern SATA SSDs conform to the SATA III Spec which means they can have a maximum bandwidth of about 6 Gb/s which translates to 750MB/s. However, real-world speeds usually max out at about 600 MB/s.
While they are slower than NVME SSDs, SATA SSDs are still several times faster than regular HDDs.
Also, they are very affordable these days so you can get one cheaply. These SSDs look like a regular HDD at first glance and they even use the same SATA port so upgrading to a SATA SSD for your boot drive should be easy.
To use an NVME SSD, on the other hand, you’d need a motherboard with the compatible port.
In this article we looked at some of the best SSD for Boot Drives. Choosing an SSD as your primary boot drive can do wonders for the overall speed of your system.
An SSD drive is at least 5 times faster than a normal HDD. That means, booting up your system with an SSD can happen in a jiffy.
Of course, SSDs have the issue of a higher price tag. An SSD is expensive particularly if you choose to go for NVME SSDs.
As such, there is a trade-off but if performance is your primary goal, then SSD as a boot drive is an absolute must.